County Recorder discusses election proposals

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Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, recently released a list of election proposals for the current legislative session. That list includes the idea of eliminating the option of dropping off early-ballots at polling places on Election Day.

The Recorder says those ballots accounted for 95% of the delay in results. Those are the ballots that are dropped off on Election Day. Since they are in the signed and sealed envelopes, they have to be verified and opened and scanned. According to his report, in Maricopa County, voters dropped off 290,735 early ballots at vote locations on Election Day in the November 2022 election. In 2020, there were 172,499 ballots dropped off on Election Day.

Joining us to discuss this proposal and more is County Recorder, Stephen Richer.

What are your thoughts on recent threats towards county employees?

“We got another vile phone call to someone who just answers phones, someone is working an entry-level job for the county, so that’s just completely unmerited. What we’re really looking for is for leaders throughout Arizona to say do not do this, and to not use that type of rhetoric themselves so that others don’t follow path,” said Richer.

He comments on the County Board Chair’s supervisors recent response to vile comments and threats being made towards county employees.

How do you reason with people who are still on that particular train?

“Well to get to the first idea that I proposed, it really is meant in part to help us election officials out because we are caught between a rock and a hard place. That’s when a lot of this vitriol comes in is the days after election, because we don’t have 95% results tabulated yet and so people will say, “Well what are you doing?” and “You’re rigging the system.” A lot of those angry phone calls, like the one that prompted Supervisor Hickman’s message, are results of the thing I’m trying to fix in that first solution,” said Richer.

“My goal here was to help it be a reasonable conversation that is grounded in facts and helps people understand what’s happening on the ground,” said Richer.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

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